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Israel’s IAI wins $777 million India navy contract for Barak 8 air defense missile systems

Israel Aerospace Industries said on Wednesday, October 24 it has won a $777 million order for the Barak 8 air defense system for the Indian Navy.

The deal with India’s state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited to supply LRSAM Air & Missile Defense systems – the marine version of the Barak 8 system – for seven more warships follows a $630 million order placed in May 2017 for four ships. BEL is the main contractor in the project.

India’s Ministry of Defence also signed a $1.6 billion deal in 2017 for the shorter-range land-based MRSAM system. That deal included around 40 launchers and 200 missiles for the Indian Army, with deliveries expected to being in 2020.

Barak 8, used by Israel’s navy as well as India’s navy, air and land forces, is used to defend against a range of threats including combat jets, helicopters, drones, anti-ship missiles, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.

The system includes advanced phased-array radars, command and control systems and launchers.

The missiles are fitted with with advanced active radar seekers and a data link. The standard missile has maximum speed of Mach 2 and a range of 70 km, although this was reportedly later increased to 100 km. It is powered by a dual pulse rocket motor and thrust vectoring gives it high maneuverability.

Barak 8 was developed by state-owned IAI in collaboration with Israel’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, India’s Defense Research and Development Organization, the navies of both countries, Elta Systems, Rafael and other companies in India and Israel.

INS Kolkata firing a Barak 8 long-range Surface-to-Air Missile
INS Kolkata firing a Barak 8 long-range Surface-to-Air Missile in 2015. Image: Indian Navy

IAI, Israel’s largest defense firm, said worldwide sales of the Barak 8 system now totalled more than $6 billion.

In January, India’s Raksha Mantri (defense minister) Nirmala Sitharaman approved the $72.5 million purchase of “131 Barak Missiles and associated equipment” from Rafael, another Israeli company. It was unclear which version of the missile was ordered, and AFP reported that they were to be deployed on India’s first indigenously built aircraft carrier which is currently under construction.

Israel is among the world’s top arms manufacturing states, and nearly 60 percent of its weapons exports go to the Asia-Pacific region, according to Israeli defense ministry figures.

Russia is still by far India’s largest arms supplier. During a visit to New Delhi in early October, President Vladimir Putin oversaw the signing of a contract for the S-400 missile defence system, worth more than $5.2 billion.

But the United States – now India’s second-biggest weapons supplier – has imposed sanctions on countries buying Russian military hardware, and India has sought to diversify its suppliers.

A senior U.S. Department of Defense official said in August that sanctions against India would come under consideration if its S-400 purchase goes through. India has signaled it will ask for a special waiver from sanctions, though a U.S. official said in September there is no guarantee it would do so.


With reporting from AFP

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